This year we found a dynamic pair of innovators in the social media space.
For Showing Agents Some Love
A perennial advisor favorite for her trade focused stance and helpful agent programs, Vicki Freed, senior vice president, sales, trade support and service, Royal Caribbean International, was identified by Travel Agent last year as our top sales innovator. This year, we recognize her for agent supportive digital sites – the “@Vicki Loves Travel Agents” Facebook page and the “Loyal To You Always” web page (www.loyaltoyoualways.com). Also offering helpful “Vicki’s Tips” via e-mail, Freed puts her “love” and appreciation for travel agent relationships front and center.
Joining Royal Caribbean in 2008, she oversees the company’s sales force, the largest in the cruise industry, and manages the trade support and service division, which includes reservations, group sales and customer service as well as the consumer outreach division. Previously, Freed spent 29 years with Carnival Cruise Line including 15 years as senior vice president of sales and marketing.
For Facebook Engagement
John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line’s brand ambassador and a veteran senior cruise director, delivers cruise-focused posts for 258,892 followers on his personal Facebook page. That page is an off-shoot of the infamous “John Heald’s Blog” https://johnhealdsblog.com/, a personal cruise-focused blog that’s posted 19 million views over the years.
Heald joined Carnival Cruise Line as a bartender aboard the Holiday 30 years ago. His quick wit and engaging personality made him a natural for the entertainment world and, in 1989, he joined the entertainment department as a social host. He was promoted to cruise director a year later. Today, as Carnival’s brand ambassador, he emcees and speaks at special events, hosts special voyages and keeps fans engaged via Facebook and his blog.